Skeleton in a Dead Space by Judy Alter is the first book in the “Kelly O’Connell” mystery series. Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press, August 2011
Kelly O’Connell never thought real estate was a dangerous profession, until she stumbled over a skeleton in a dead space in an early-twentieth-century Craftsman house she was transforming into a coveted modern home in an older urban neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas.
From that moment, she runs into teen-age gang members, a manipulative ex-husband, a needy and single pregnant friend, a cold-blooded murderer, and a policeman who wants to be more than her protector. As free-spirited as the chocolate-peanut-jalapeño candy she craves, Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman-boyfriend, protect her two young daughters, pacify her worried mother a thousand miles away, and keep her real estate business afloat. Too often she puts herself in danger, and sometimes it’s the girls, not Mike, who come to Kelly’s rescue.
All Kelly wanted to do was finish the house she was renovating, but instead she got a dead skeleton and threats against her family. What a great read that I could not put down. The author had me quickly turning the pages in this suspenseful who-dun-it and the many twists and turns kept the plot moving towards a rewarding conclusion. With a comfortable tone, lovable and quirky characters, great conversation, especially the internal dialogue that Kelly has with herself, and a hint of romance, this was an enjoyable debut and I look forward to the next book in this wonderful new series.